MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Serial deliveries of Russia's state-of-the-art Beriev A-100 airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft will begin in 2020, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. As he has previously disclosed, two aircraft are set to be created — a flying laboratory and a prototype.
"In line with the plans, serial deliveries of A-100 aircraft to the troops will begin in 2020," Shoigu said.
The Beriev A-100 aircraft was constructed on the base of the Il-76MD-90A (Il-476) transport aircraft. It is expected that A-100 will replace the Beriev A-50 Mainstay AWACS aircraft, which is currently in service of the Russian Air Force. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Beriev A-100 is superior to the foreign analogues and is capable of tracking over 300 targets. The aircraft can also monitor air, ground and surface pictures.
At approximately the same time, the deliveries of another leading Russian defense innovation, the advanced S-500 air defense systems are expected to start, as Deputy Commander of Russia's Aerospace Forces Lt. Gen. Viktor Gumenny stated previously.